How Much Does a Cup of Coffee Cost in Major World Cities?
In the 17th century, coffee beans began to be traded globally and coffee became widely popular as a morning drink. Coffee houses sprang up, first in Europe and later the American colonies. Patrons of these coffee houses would meet to drink coffee, exchange news, conduct business or just enjoy conversation.
As coffee grew in popularity, coffee beans were planted widely around the world. By the end of the 18th century, coffee had become one of the world’s most profitable crops, and today, it’s the most widely traded commodity after oil.
Coffee drinking around the world continues to increase as countries that traditionally had strong tea-drinking traditions, such as China, Japan and Taiwan, increase their coffee consumption. This explosion of coffee drinking has led to a great deal of research about the effects of caffeine on the human body, to the development of new brewing techniques, the creation of new coffee drinks and a shared love across cultures of the bitter, black brew.
Or as the National Coffee Association puts it, coffee is now “a culture, an economy, an art, a science and a passion.”
But how much does coffee cost around the world? UBS surveyed locals in different global cities to find “how much a cup of the beverage in a typical coffee shop costs.” Prices, of course, vary based on cost of living in the city and coffee’s cultural cachet in the area, among other things.
The prices in this 25-city list, which are ordered from lowest to highest, are averages. Cities will always have individual outlets where the price is higher or lower.
Price of a cup of coffee: $0.74
Coffee talk: The cost of living is lower here than other European countries, and this is reflected in the cost of a cup of coffee, which is the perfect companion for Lisbon’s famous soft custard tarts.
Local knowledge: With its mild Mediterranean climate and seaside location, Lisbon has a dynamic outdoor lifestyle, centered on taverns, cafes and local seafood dishes. The historic port city, with whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs and narrow medieval cobblestone streets, is spread across seven hills on Portugal’s coast.
Price of a cup of coffee: $1.33
Coffee talk: According to European Coffee Trip, the specialty coffee scene in the city is on the rise.
Local knowledge: Known for its fashion houses and design showrooms, Milan is also a commercial and industrial center, and home to a flourishing tech and start-up culture.
Price of a cup of coffee: $1.41
Coffee talk: The Ottoman Sultans were the first to drink roasted coffee beans and kept a coffee maker at court, chosen for their skills at brewing coffee and keeping secrets. Coffee houses in Istanbul were once places to read books, play chess and backgammon, and discuss poetry.
Local knowledge: The ancient city of Istanbul was ruled in turn by Greeks, Romans, Venetians and Ottomans, and known as Byzantium and Constantinople. Today, Istanbul is Turkey’s financial and cultural center with Byzantine churches, medieval mosques, palaces, bazaars, markets and Turkish baths, famous for the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
Price of a cup of coffee: $2.23
Coffee talk: Despite the growing number of coffee shops, Canadians, according to Coffee Business Intelligence, still prefer to drink brewed coffee at home.
Local knowledge: Toronto ranks as one of the world’s most livable cities. One reason is Toronto's cultural diversity; residents speak more than 140 different languages. Toronto is a financial and tech start-up center, with markets, museums, art galleries, aquarium, historic buildings and eclectic districts, like the historic Chinatown, giving it a vibrant buzz. The city’s parks, open spaces, beaches and islands help make Toronto a green city.
Mexico City, Mexico
Price of a cup of coffee: $2.58
Coffee talk: Mexico’s best quality coffee beans have always been exported (often to the U.S.) but as homegrown demand for good quality coffee grows, many cafes are buying these beans for Mexicans to drink.
Local knowledge: Mexico City showcases Mexico’s vast history, stretching back to the Aztec empire. The city’s World Heritage-listed historic center, Zocalo, contains Pre-Columbian ruins, as well as Spanish colonial-era palaces and cathedrals. The city is known for its food, art and culture, with the second-highest number of museums in the world and over 40,000 restaurants.
Price of a cup of coffee: $2.82
Coffee talk: The Netherlands is famous for “gezellig,” the feeling of being cozy, and curling up with a cup of coffee in one of Amsterdam’s small coffee houses is just the ticket.
Local knowledge: Tall, narrow 17th century gabled houses tower above the city’s network of canals in this scenic, walkable city. Packed with art museums, including those dedicated to Rembrandt and Van Gogh, art galleries, historic buildings and vintage shops, Amsterdam is also known for cutting-edge design, and its creative and tech start-up culture.
Los Angeles, USA
Price of a cup of coffee: $2.87
Coffee talk: The annual Los Angeles Coffee Festival, held in November, offers coffee lovers tastings, workshops, barista demonstrations, coffee cocktails, street food and live music.
Local knowledge: Los Angeles is the center of the film and television industry in the U.S. Los Angeles also has 75 miles of coastline, including world-famous Venice Beach, sunny skies all year, an amazing food and brewing scene, museums and sports, as well as amusement parks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm.
New York City, USA
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.12
Coffee talk: Known as the city that never sleeps for its 24-hour culture, New York is home to the greatest number of coffee outlets in the country. The city even had a Coffee District in the 18th century, which processed most coffee imported into the U.S.
Local knowledge: Considered the fashion, theatre and financial center of the U.S., New York City also offers shopping, museums, parks and a varied, multicultural eating and food truck scene.
Auckland, New Zealand
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.13
Coffee talk: In Auckland, coffee drinks will normally have a single espresso shot in them, whereas in Wellington (the capital city), the same drink will likely have two shots.
Local knowledge: Auckland is a city of fire and water, based around two harbors and an extinct volcano. It’s ranked as the third-most livable city in the world and has diverse food, wine, music, art and cultural offerings. With beaches, rugged coastline and holiday islands just outside the city, Auckland is very much an outdoor lifestyle city.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.17
Coffee talk: Australia is the home of flat white and long black coffees and few Sydneysiders would start the day without their favorite brew. Unlike quick-drinking Italians, who are credited with introducing the coffee culture in the 1950s, Australians like to linger over coffee, reading the papers or chatting with friends.
Local knowledge: Sydney is blessed with golden beaches, a mild climate and outdoor living, best known for its iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.47
Coffee talk: While known for its elaborate tea ceremonies, Japan is one of the largest global coffee importers (and consumption is rising). Tokyo abounds in specialty coffee shops.
Local knowledge: In Tokyo, neon signs, billboards and modern buildings sit side by side with Shinto shrines, former Imperial palaces, Buddhist temples, sumo wrestling venues, formal gardens and Tokyo’s famous cherry trees, all of it with Mount Fuji in the background. Tokyo also offers endless shopping and extensive nightlife, including Robot Cabaret.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.59
Coffee talk: While historically the black stuff you drank in Dublin was Guinness, these days a third of Dubliners drink coffee daily.
Local knowledge: Dublin is known for its castles, whiskey distilleries, parks and historic houses, and is home to the oldest public library in Ireland as well as the famous Book of Kells, at Trinity College. The city is also famous for its spirited Irish music scene.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.72
Coffee talk: While Taiwan grows coffee, local beans are so expensive that they are mostly exported to Japan. Taipei coffee houses often use imported coffee.
Local knowledge: Taipei is full of glass skyscrapers, Taoist temples, colonial laneways, lively night markets and a bustling street-food scene, famous for “stinky tofu.” In fact, so many Taiwanese eat out that many small apartments don’t have kitchens.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.75
Coffee talk: Munich got its coffee habit from the Italians and has one famous coffee house and roaster, Dallmayr, which has been around for more than 300 years.
Local knowledge: Munich is known for its annual Oktoberfest and beer halls, including the famous Hofbrauhaus, as well as its historic Gothic buildings and churches. Munich’s famous Christmas Market has been held since the 14th century.
London, United Kingdom
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.88
Coffee talk: Coffee was introduced to England in 1652, and by 1660, London’s popular coffeehouses were called “Penny Universities” as patrons could get a cup of coffee for a penny and mix with artists, writers, poets, lawyers, politicians and philosophers.
Local knowledge: London’s history stretches back to the Roman era. Home to attractions such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, London Bridge, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. London is also known for museums, such as the British and Victoria & Albert Museums, West End theaters and its world famous Underground.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.88
Coffee talk: 90 percent of Norwegians drink coffee, and Oslo is one of the best spots in the world to enjoy a coffee according to the travel site Matador.
Local knowledge: Oslo is the 2019 winner of the European Green Capital Award, with parks, green spaces, wide ocean vistas, as well as scenic fjords and beaches. Oslo is also a dynamic arts hub, with museums, festivals, opera, ballet and a center for modern Scandinavian design and contemporary architecture.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.93
Coffee talk: Explore Little Havana and try a Café Cubano, made with dark roast beans and natural brown sugar.
Local knowledge: Miami features white sand beaches, deep-sea fishing, golf, tennis and water sports, as well as the world’s busiest cruise port. With a Latin culture, fused with Cuban music and traditions, Miami is a multi-cultural hotspot for the arts, music and food.
Price of a cup of coffee: $3.98
Coffee talk: Traditional, finely-ground Greek coffee is actually a variant on Turkish coffee, that was introduced during Ottoman rule. Fortune tellers use the thick grounds left over in the cup after drinking to tell fortunes.
Local knowledge: Few cities can claim such an impressive array of modern and ancient landscapes blended together. Athens has archeological sites that date back to Classical Greece, including the famous Acropolis, temples, theaters, baths, tombs and the Agora, the commercial, political and religious center of the ancient city.
Price of a cup of coffee: $4.13
Coffee talk: Parisians have been drinking coffee since 1669 when the Ottoman ambassador introduced the beverage to the Royal Court. In the mid-1700s, writers such as Rousseau and Voltaire started a popular trend for hanging out in Parisian coffeehouses.
Local knowledge: Paris is home to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre Museum, the Luxembourg and Les Tuileries Gardens, the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and of course, the iconic Paris Metro with its well-known Art Nouveau signs.
Price of a cup of coffee: $4.31
Coffee talk: After World War II, instant coffee in Russia was sold as medicine to wake people up and make them work harder. This only changed in the 1990s when the first coffee houses began to open in Russia, and locals began to enjoy espresso drinks. The coffee scene is growing rapidly in Moscow, and coffee consumption in Russia — once a nation of tea drinkers — has doubled since 2000. Russians have even renamed the classic Americano coffee the “Rusiano.”
Local knowledge: Moscow is home to such instantly recognizable places as Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Gorky Park and the Bolshoi Ballet.
Price of a cup of coffee: $4.35
Coffee talk: In 1638, a Viennese man started the city’s first coffee business — in a tent — using bags of beans left behind by the retreating Turkish Army, which had tried to capture Vienna. Coffee became popular and coffee houses began to spread across the city.
Local knowledge: Vienna is filled with Baroque churches and palaces. It’s known for its long history of artistic and intellectual traditions. Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud all lived here. Modern Vienna has embraced Smart City technology and the Economist voted Vienna the world’s most livable city in 2018.
Price of a cup of coffee: $4.60
Coffee talk: Traditionally a nation of tea drinkers, young urban Shanghai dwellers are rapidly creating a coffee culture in their city.
Local knowledge: Shanghai is one of the world’s leading financial centers and a major hub in China for shipping and transport. The city has skyscrapers as well as serene water and stone gardens, the historic Bund river district, temples and the ancient Zhujiajiao Water Village known as Shanghai’s Venice, where you can stroll along canals by 1,700-year-old houses.
Price of a cup of coffee: $4.98
Coffee talk: Zurich is home to three national Swiss Barista Champions who run coffee cafes in the city. The Swiss drink over three cups of coffee daily, on average.
Local knowledge: Switzerland’s largest city is full of lakeside garden terraces where you can sit and sip your coffee, overlooking Lake Zurich. A bustling financial and cultural center, Zurich is also known as a city of churches, which dominate the city’s skyline.
Price of a cup of coffee: $6.24
Coffee talk: Despite the high cost of a cup of coffee in their country, Danes are among the world’s most avid coffee drinkers.
Local knowledge: Copenhagen is one of Europe’s oldest capital cities. Famous for its walkable docksides, brightly colored historic homes and pedestrian zones, this coastal metropolis is also a dedicated bike city, with more bicycles than people.
Price of a cup of coffee: $6.40
Coffee talk: Doha is among the world’s richest cities as measured by per capita Gross Domestic Product and this is reflected in the price of a cup of coffee. It’s the most expensive on our list.
Local knowledge: Falcon hunting and camel racing are popular sports in the tiny desert kingdom of Qatar, made rich by oil. Doha’s huge modern malls, containing whole theme parks, lie next to centuries-old markets where you can still buy spices, rugs, gold and falcons.